Cropping works for business and photos

Here’s a great lesson in photography and business- trust me, I can make this analogy work – Len, Mark and Anne are amazing photographers and run Arthouse Reproductions… they have been teaching me how to SEE. Take the image below which Len shot with a small digital camera…

This is not a photography lesson but obviously this picture is cropped (by Murray) from a bigger picture. The unusual shape of this picture and cropping out the rest of the image turns it into a remarkable art piece. Turning it into black and white means our eyes aren’t distracted by colour and makes us focus even more on what Murray wanted us to see.

Now let’s see the whole picture and learn our business lesson…

It’s still a nice shot but the standard size means it could simply be just another holiday snap. The black and white touch gives it a more artistic nature but doesn’t make it stand out nor very remarkable.

Too often we go into business with a big picture in our minds… but somewhere in all the clutter there is a core part of the business that is (or could be) remarkable if only we had the courage to crop out all the other stuff. Make no mistake, your business will become smaller when you do this but it could also become much more remarkable than before, making it easier to market and sell… just like photography.

A few examples:

IBM sold computers… in fact a few years ago if you had to picture IBM in your mind you saw computers. But a small and valuable part of that picture was its consulting business. Now IBMs core business is consulting… they cropped hardware out of the picture that their customers were used to seeing.

G.E. used to make electircal appliances, and stuff that we’re not allowed to talk about… finance was a valuable part of their business but no-one could see it because of all the toasters, jet engines and stuff we’re not allowed to talk about. Cropping the major parts out of the picture has allowed G.E. to develop their financial services to the point where it generates nearly 40% of their business (I’m too lazy to look the real figure up but I remember reading it somewhere and I think the figure was 43%).

Job Secrets Revealed was a great book, but our cover letters were the real stand out part of what we taught. People couldn’t see it because they were always focusing on resumes. So we cropped the resumes out of the business and generated a whole new business on cover letters… a business which was remarkable because it was the only one out there talking about cover letters when everyone else was flogging their resume services.

So what can you crop out of your business to create a new fresh perspective that would really make people sit up and take notice?

Published in: on November 19, 2005 at 7:56 pm Comments (54)

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